CHAPTER 5 – Revelation 1:12-18 國度之王 THE KING OF THE KINGDOM


天國要建立,基督的王權要彰顯。地上的國家,有民主與獨裁的政權,在教會中,只有「神權」與「人權」之分。民主國家並不是全民主的,只是由人民選出領導人。選出領導人之後,就由當選的人當權。美國是民主國家,但打不打伊拉克,不是由人民決定。所以人說,教會才是真民主,大小事情由會員大會決定。但教會的民主,其實乃是神權,是讓神在每個人的心中帶領、感動眾人去做同一決定,乃是出於神的。

In order for the Kingdom of Heaven to be established, Christ must show His royal authority. The countries of the world are divided into democratic and autocratic. In the church there is the authority of God and of the people. Democratic countries are not totally governed by the people; after the people elect their leaders, the leaders are those in authority. The United States is a democratic country but to go or not to go to war against Iraq is not for the people to decide. Therefore, people say that the Church is really democratic; all decisions are made by the members of the church in a general assembly. But the democracy in the church is really God’s authority; letting God work in each person’s heart moving them to make the same decision.

約翰在未寫將來發生的事之前,先描寫這天國的王:祂的權能、威嚴與榮耀。很多人以為,教會的權柄能力,是說話指揮的權柄,是聘請與解僱的權柄,是使用金錢的權柄,是趕逐人出會籍的權柄,是罷免帝皇的權柄。還需要軍隊來保衛這種權柄。

Before John wrote about future events, he gave a description of the King of the Kingdom: His authority, His majesty and His glory. Many people think that the authority of the Church is to give out orders, to hire or fire people, to decide how to use their money, to drive someone out of the church, or to remove an Emperor from his office and so they need an army to safeguard that kind of authority.

我們要清楚什麼是真正的權柄能力。從二、三章關於主對歷代教會的評語,我們會真正看見主所重視的是什麼。神喜悅的教會,是神權的教會。神責備最厲害的教會,是跟隨世界方式、世界權力系統的教會。

We need to know clearly what true authority is. From the comments that the Lord gives to the different churches in chapters 2 and 3, we can see distinctly what is important in the eyes of the Lord. The church that God is pleased with is the church where God has the authority. The church that God rebukes is the one that follows the patterns of this world, a church that is influenced by worldly authority.

一位天主教教皇曾說:「彼得對那瘸子說:金子、銀子我都沒有。現在我們,金子銀子都有了。」人卻笑他說:「可惜彼得下一句話,他說不出來:我奉拿撒勒人耶穌的名,叫你起來行走。」

A Catholic pope was made fun of by the people when he proudly said: “Peter once said to a lame man: ‘Silver or gold I do not have.’ Today we have silver and we have gold.” People laughed at him and said : “But what a pity that you cannot say the rest of the words that Peter said: ‘In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’

那位教皇沒有看見什麼叫作天國的權柄,以為有了金錢,有了世界的權勢,就很了不起,不知道更大、更重要的權柄是:治病趕鬼之權;地上捆綁,天上也捆綁之權;地上釋放天上也釋放的權;叫撒但從天上墬落的權;得勝陰間權勢的權;得勝肉體罪性、墮性之權。” 

That pope did not see what true authority of the Kingdom of Heaven is; he thought that having wealth and world power was something to brag about; not knowing that what is most important is to have the authority to heal diseases and to cast out demons ; the authority to bind things on earth and be bound in heaven; to loose things on earth and be loosed in heaven; the authority to cast down Satan to earth; the authority to overcome hell; to be victorious over the sinful nature of the body and the depraved character of a human being.

有審判權柄

HIS AUTHORITY TO JUDGE

12 我轉過身來,要看是誰發聲與我說話。既轉過來,就看見七個金燈檯。

12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands.

主日那天,約翰在拔摩海島敬拜主的時候,忽然聽到有對他說話的聲音,他轉身,要看在孤島上誰會對他說話?第一眼看見的,是七盞金燈,代表七個教會,就是全地的教會。

On the Lord’s Day, while John was worshiping God on the Isle of Patmos, he heard someone speak to him so he turned around to see the voice who was speaking to him on that deserted island. The first thing that he saw when he turned was seven golden lampstands, which represented seven churches, which are all the churches of the whole world.

這是一個異象,是天上聖所的異象。並非真的帶了天上的燈檯來給他看。

This was a vision, a vision of the sanctuary in heaven. They were not really seven golden lampstands that were brought down from heaven for John to see.

聖所的異像從這裡開始一直到啟示錄後面,會穿插在各異像中間。有時不是看見燈檯,乃是香壇、廿四長老、基路伯、神寶座、約櫃等。

The vision of the sanctuary starts here and will alternate with different visions until the last part of the book. Sometimes what is seen is not the lampstand but the altar of incense, the twenty four elders, the cherubim, the throne of God, the arc of the covenant, etc.

在這裡給約翰看見,基督是在眾教會中間行走的主,表示祂在管理

眾教會,祂是教會的主,是天國的王。

Here John sees Christ as the Lord who walks among the churches, this shows that He rules among the churches, He is the Lord of the Church, the King of the Kingdom of Heaven.

13 燈檯中間,有一位好像人子,身穿長衣,直垂到腳,胸間束著金帶。

13 and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.

衣服代表身份。但以理書十章,但以理見到天使長迦百列,也有一些相似的描寫,不過天使長沒有長袍,金帶也束在腰間。古代皇帝與審判官穿長袍,表示他們權威的身份。如果金帶束在腰間,像但以理所描寫的天使,表示他正在辦事。束在胸間,表明要主持審判。

The clothing represents His status. In Daniel chapter 10, Daniel saw the Archangel Gabriel and his description of the angel is somewhat similar but it does not have a long robe and the golden sash is around the waist. Ancient Chinese emperors and judges wore long robes , representing their authoritative status. If the golden sash was worn around the waist, like the description of the angel that Daniel saw, it showed that the person was doing a labor; it was the clothing of a worker. If the sash was worn around the chest it represented authority to rule and to judge.

燈檯中行走的主,表示祂是治理全地教會的。祂關心教會。祂肉身不在我們中間,但仍然是天國的王、教會的主,教會不能把主關門外。

The Lord among the lampstands indicates that He is the Lord who rules over all the churches of the world. Even though He is in heaven, He still cares for the Church on earth and rules over the affairs of the church. He is not physically among us but He is still the King of the Kingdom of Heaven, He is the Lord of the Church; the Church must not close its doors to the Lord.

這裡說主好像一位「人子」,表示約翰所看見的,不是天使。耶穌在地上常自稱人子,表明祂重視成為人這件大事。祂很少自稱神子,只在有需要表明祂身分的時候才說。香港在回歸中國之前,強調要「港人治港」,不要由中國派來的官員。我們無意之間也在強調,需要一個真正的人來作我們的王,這樣祂才真正了解我們的需要。我們不要外星人、天使、機器、禽獸。我們的王是真正的人,耶穌基督就是最好的國王。

Here it says, “Someone like a son of man,” which means that what John saw was not an angel. When Jesus was on earth He often called Himself the “Son of Man”, to emphasize that he was really a human being. He rarely called Himself the “Son of God”, he only did it when he needed to demonstrate His deity. Before Hong Kong was returned to China, the people of Hong Kong pointed out emphatically that they wanted Hong Kong to be ruled by the people of Hong Kong, they did not want to be ruled by government officials sent by China. Directly or indirectly we stress that we want a real person to be our King, someone who would truly understand our needs, we want to be ruled by a real person, not by an alien from outer space, an angel, a robot or a beast. Our King is a real person; Jesus Christ is the best King.

有榮耀榮光

HIS GLORY

14 祂的頭與發皆白,如白羊毛、如雪,眼目如同火焰,15 腳好像在爐中煆煉光明的銅……16 祂右手拿著七星,從祂口中出來一把兩刃的利劍,面貌如同烈日放光。

14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace… 16 in his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

說過祂的衣飾之後,就論祂本身的榮耀與榮光。榮耀,是指強光。這裡有多句形容主的外表,說祂發出白而亮的光。當時非常白且亮的東西,只有雪與白羊毛。指剛出生小羊之白嫩。頭髮也不是老年人白髮,是發亮之白。就像現在打印機用的白紙,都寫上白度,但最白的紙,拿到螢光幕之前,就比不上螢光幕的白,因為發光的白,才是最白的。

After depicting His clothing, now John is describing His glory. Glory, refers to a strong bright light. At that time the only things that were very white were snow and white wool; the white wool of a new born lamb. The color of the hair was not like that of an elderly person but rather a very shiny bright white. The paper for copy machines is white, the degree of whiteness of the paper is written on the package, but when a sheet of copy machine paper is held next to a luminescent screen, there is no comparison because luminescent white is the whitest.

有人把「煆煉」讀成「鍛煉」。祂的腳不是經過鍛煉,鍛煉是用在鍛煉鋼鐵的強度,或改變它形狀。「煆煉」描寫燒得通紅發亮的情況。光明的銅原意是白銅, chalko ( 銅) 加上libanw ( 白), 源自希伯來文。這裡所說的銅,也不是copper ,是brass ,是銅與鋅的合金。燒透之時,白清、明亮、耀眼。祂全身都是發光明亮的。

His feet were like burnished bronze. The word used here is chalkolibano ( chalko = brass and libanos =whiteness). It is not copper but brass. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. This metal as it burns in a furnace will become so white that would look almost transparent and dazzling to the eyes due to its insupportable brilliance.

天使也有光亮,稱光明的天使。但以理十章描寫之天使長迦百列跟這裡差不多。主降生的時候,天使向牧羊人報訊,榮光四面照耀。摩西在山上聽神說話,下山後身體發光。因為與有榮光的主相處。

Angels also emit light, they have a glowing appearance. The description of the Archangel Gabriel in Daniel chapter 10 is similar to the description here, which is the reason why these celestial beings are called angels of light. When Jesus was born, the angels appeared to the shepherds to bring them the good news and the glory of the Lord shone around them. After Moses came down from being 40 days with God on top of the mountain his body was shining because of the Lord’s glory.

普通罪人不會發亮。因為世人都犯了罪,虧缺了神的榮耀。這裡描寫的特點,告訴我們,祂乃是人子,祂是人,不過祂是有榮光的人。祂復活了,祂是最先一位得到榮耀身體的。以後當我們身體復活之後,都必會像祂一樣。約翰在60 多年前,曾親眼看見主的榮光,他們在山頂上,看見耶穌身體改變、發光,到耶穌復活時,也發出強光。主的榮光是強烈的榮光,難怪約翰看見,就仆倒在主的面前。

The body of an ordinary person is sinful and thus will not emit any brightness. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The distinguished feature here is that He is the Son of Man, He is a human being, yet He has glory. After He resurrected from the dead He was the first to receive a glorious body. In the future, when we are resurrected, we will also have a glorious body like Him. John saw the glory of the Lord 60 years before when they were on a mountain top, Jesus’ body was transfigured before them, His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. When Jesus resurrected He also emitted a strong light. The glory of the Lord is intensely bright; no wonder when John saw the Lord, he fell at His feet.

有權能的聲音

HAS AN AUTHORITATIVE VOICE

15 聲音如同眾水的聲音。16 祂右手拿著七星.

15 His voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In His right hand He held seven stars.

祂的聲音洪亮,蓋過拔摩島的海浪聲,蓋過大瀑布聲,蓋過千軍萬馬聲音。在遇到災難、患上絕症、落在經濟危機中,還聽不到祂聲音的人,還不懂得迴轉到祂面前來的人,必定不是屬祂的人。

His voice was loud and clear, overpowering the strong waves of Patmos. Even next to a great waterfall or among a great cavalry, the Lord’s authoritative, powerful and irresistible voice is bound to be heard. When a person faces a disaster, an incurable disease or a financial crisis and yet does not want to listen to His voice and does not know how to turn to Him, that person, undoubtedly, does not belong to Lord.

祂的右手,就是最大權能的手,拿著七星。代表七個教會,就是全地教會的使者。表示祂保護著全地眾教會。「使者」這個字,在啟示錄出現了67 次,多數指天使,就是受差遣者。但在頭三章代表整體教會,不是指某天使,也不是指某領袖。

His right hand, His most powerful hand, held seven stars which represent the seven churches, which are the angels of the churches of the whole world. This means that He protects all the churches on earth. The word “angel” appears 67 times in the book of Revelation, most of the time an angel is a messenger; but in the first three chapters it represents the Church as a whole, it is not referring to a specific angel or a particular leader.

16 從祂口中出來一把兩刃的利劍。

16 …coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword.

這異象太神奇了,怎麼口中能出劍?其實「手拿七星」,也是很奇特的,不比口中出兩刃劍小,都是像徵的話。表示祂話語就是大能的武器,要用祂的道領導我們爭戰。祂不用刀劍或核武,乃用權能的命令。

This vision is too weird, how can a sword come out of His mouth? Actually, holding seven stars in His hands is also very weird; a sword is smaller than a star, but these are all symbolic. It indicates that His word is a powerful weapon; He will use His Word to lead our battles. He does not need to use swords, guns, cannons or nuclear weapons, but only His authoritative command.

掌生死權

AUTHORITY OVER LIFE AND DEATH

17 我一聽見,就仆倒在祂腳前,像死了一樣。祂用右手按著我說:不要懼怕,我是首先的,我是末後的,「18 又是那存活的。我曾死過,現在又活了,直活到永永遠遠,並且拿著死亡和陰間的鑰匙。」

17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead , and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

約翰看見榮耀的主,馬上仆倒像死人一樣。不是因為他害怕死,他年近百歲,其他的師兄們都殉道死了,他當然也不會害怕死亡。他這個反應,是人看見靈界發光的異體所必有的反應。就像但以理先知看見迦百列天使長之時的反應一樣。

When John saw the glorious Lord, immediately he fell at His feet like a dead man not because he was afraid of dying, he was almost 100 years old, all his senior fellow apostles had already died as martyrs; certainly he did not fear death. His reaction was what every human being feels when seeing a glorious spiritual being. Just like the reaction that the prophet Daniel had when he saw the Archangel Gabriel.

這裡對主的描寫,是人所無法想像的。沒有一個人能用其中一句話在自己身上。祂是藉著死敗壞掌死權者,祂把魔鬼的死權奪回來。死亡陰間,不再是魔鬼權力的範圍,祂打開囚禁靈魂的監獄,使人得脫死。人怕死,因為死就像進了監牢,進去一個我們所不認識,沒有自主權之地。但人如果擁有監牢的鑰匙,或是親人擁有監牢的鑰匙,像主擁有死亡和陰間的鑰匙一樣,就不會再害怕了。

Here, the depiction of the Lord is one that no human being can imagine. No one can use the Lord’s description to describe himself. Through death He destroyed the one who had power over death. He took back the power that Satan had over death. Death and Hades are no longer Satan’s dominion. He opened the prison doors of those who were spiritually captive so they could be delivered from death. People are afraid of dying because death is like being in jail. It’s a place we are not familiar with, a place where our rights are taken away from us. But if the person knows someone with a prison key or has a relative that has a prison key, like the Lord who has the keys of death and of Hades, then there is no need to be afraid any more.

祂雖然經歷了死亡,像所有人一樣。但復活之後,將會活到永遠,證明祂神兒子的身分。祂是生命的源頭,掌管生命權柄。人自以為了不起,可以復制生命,誰知人只是把生命加工,人無法把死物變成生物。人預言可以使人長生不老,所以有人死了,還要冰凍著屍體,希望有一天可再活下去,但神早已經說了,人只可以活到120 歲( 創6:3) 。

Even though he died like every human being, after His resurrection He is living eternally proving His identity as the Son of God. He is the source of life, He has authority over life. Some people feel high and mighty that they can duplicate life, in fact, they can only change it. No one can give life to an inanimate object. Some people are predicting that in the future they can make humans live forever, so when people die they would cryopreserve them with the intention of future revival; but God already said long ago that humans will only live to one hundred and twenty years (Genesis 6:3).

我們像電池一樣,會用完。祂卻是活到永永遠遠的。祂是首先的、末後的、創始成終的,或說是無始無終的。人都想活到永遠,想出輪迴論來騙自己。神學家說,死亡是生命之失去,惡是善之失去,黑暗是光明之失去。那黑暗、惡、死,就不是什麼,乃是沒有了什麼。但聖經把黑暗、惡、死亡,看成是另外一面的東西,祂將要把死亡與陰間,都丟在火湖里。宇宙中最大的權柄,乃是生死的權柄。我們若有生命之主,就無所懼怕,因為沒有什麼是祂不能做的。

We are like a battery that runs out of energy and dies. The Lord lives forever and ever. He is the first and the last, He was there from beginning and will always exist, He is timeless. People want to live forever so they made out the theory of reincarnation to deceive themselves. Theologians say that death is the loss of life, evil is the loss of goodness; darkness is the loss of light. Darkness, evil and death are nothing but the loss of something. But the Bible looks at darkness, evil and death from another perspective; He will throw death and Hades into the lake of fire. The greatest authority in the whole Universe is the authority over death. If we have the Lord of Life, we have nothing to fear because there is nothing that He cannot do.